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A Year Has Passed

The first year of DP Theatre has officially come to an end. 

It has been a year filled with discoveries, disappointments, developments, downfalls, breakdowns and fearless step ups. This year has taught me a lot; not only when it comes to Theatre but also life and academics particularly.

This years’ experiences have shaped me as a person affecting my life choices. The lessons this year has taught me will follow me for the rest of my life hopefully and will contribute to me growing as a person.

In the theatre world, in particular, I have learnt a lot. From costume choices to acting, I have grown tremendously. I have been taught invaluable lessons when it comes to describing those. I have come to grow as an English speaker with confidence and surety.

And since in order to make the net year the absolute best, I shall write down areas to focus when beating the improvement. Here is what will guide me in a few months when I will be dealing with the four official assessments.

And yes all the lessons are in order of importance.

Lesson No 1:
Know what the IB expects from you! Know the exact assessment criteria and what you are being assessed on. Refer to them before and after every assignment.

Lesson No 2:
In the IB you should emphasize more (spend more time) on the writing of the processes you followed and less on the processes themselves. For you, I would suggest to keep the same time for the processes and just increase (double) the writing.

Lesson No 3:
When acting do not hurt yourself. It is important to always be safe within what you do and hurting yourself does not mean you’re great just stupid and maybe a little dedicated. If you want to spice up your performance skills:

  • Surround yourself with great performers who inspire you and show you the right direction.
  • Be in full of control of your body; at the end of the day, theatre is all about body face and voice being in harmony. You need all 3.
  • Lastly, to make the performance less interesting remember to read between the lines and always make your expressions as diverse as possible.

Lesson No 4:
Your Journal right here is your best friend. Write as often as possible you will not regret it. Everyday!

Oh and most importantly enjoy every single part of it. Not only it will make you happier but it will also show on your work 😉

 

Lighting in Theatre

Realism:

Using artificial elements to create something realistic

Naturalism:

More holistic research
Using natural elements

REALISM:

  • Mc Candles
    • 45 degrees
    • more realistic

toto

  • Side Lighting

bibi

COLORS:

HOHO.jpg

gigi.jpg

 

PIGMENT:

  • Skin Colors
  • Different Colors
  • Clothing

 

R; Devising Theatre Company

Today I finalised the Devising Theatre Company Written Assignment on the Theatre Company Gecko. Even though I had already completed a first draft and thorough research on what was essential to describe the company and its processes, I wanted to find more. This time I let myself get carried away with research not looking for something specific, while also noting down relevant information and facts.

This way I got to truly understand the company and their intentions. I felt like theatre is so much more than just a subject. One should never focus on just the grades but rather immerse into the world of theatre and explore as much as possible. After one has done that, only then it is possible to enact and perform theatre with the condition that you’re fully devoted to it; every aspect of you is present in the process without meaning that you overthink but rather that you concentrate.

I feel motivated to be in the world of theatre which is so much more than just being a good performer. I am now able to say that theatre is a holistic experience and involves lighting, movement, choreography, sound, etc.

Love,
Konstantina

Exposed to Theatre Outside of Class

This post is just going to be an update of what has been happening in my life lately. Don’t worry, just my theatre life.

So lately you may have noticed even though I still post somehow often, I do not reflect upon my theatre experiences that often. But I am here to make up for that and share with you, my experiences through this time.

So even though I have not been documenting everything I have tried to enrich my theatre-related actions as much as possible. From attending DP2 Solo Performances to helping organise Mama Mia the musical, I have witnessed enough material to enlighten my own individual journey.

I shall start with the

DP2 PERFORMANCES

which succeeded in changing my perspective. The once terrifying and intimidating act of creating your own performance from scratch now became for me a renowned and creative journey that can be made possible with effort and meraki.

Now getting into the details I would like to write down a few of my notes during their performances that I found interesting. It could be elements that impressed me, details that surprised me, or movements that I found puzzling.

In order to avoid personification, I will not be mentioning the performer’s names.

So the first performance I watched was a really symbolic piece that involved different characters and often changes of setting elements.

  1. The movements being harmonic added fluidity in the performance piece,
  2. while the facial expressions added clarity
  3. Symbolism was profound throughout the performance, maybe to an extent that the meaning was too deep for the audience to identify
  4. Different characters enriched the actions and added meaning, but in combination with the extensive symbolism, it resulted in confusion.
  5. The emotion that was intended to be created on the audience failed as observed from the questions in the end. The audience deep into trying to understand the meaning was unable to be emotionally taken away with the Solo Performance.
  • Shelves form restrictions possibly of society
  • Books could represent knowledge

The second performance was performed to extenuate the effect of religious compression.

  1. After a few minutes of technical difficulties, it was obvious that the performance was going to be using multimedia.
  2. Once the projector and sound were ready the performance set off.
  3. It all started with a really powerful detail. So after the really characteristical church music started playing the image of a cross appeared on the fabric besides. The powerful detail that I am about to share is about the placing of the projector and consequently the light. Not knowing whether it is indeed intentional or not I was impressed when the base of the cross originates from the performers back. This could have so many connotations such as that religion is based on humans, religion is a human invention and so on. Here is a drawing to demonstrate that:Clipboard01
  4. The performance overall was extremely interesting which was intensified by the fact the performer developed a personal relationship with the audience by intending the monologue to them.
  5. Lastly, the audibility levels were not always kept at a satisfactory point since there were moments in which the audience could not hear.
  6. A detail that should be noticed is the choice to place flour on top of a box, so when the person kicked it there was dust everywhere nd the effect was intensified.

Now let’s move on to

MAMMA MIA

Image result for mamma mia the musical

Mama Mia was the zenith of setting, design and lighting.
With the focus not being on creating a deep meaning but rather an entertaining atmosphere, different elements of singing, dancing and one-line jokes were incorporated. The costume designing managed to use a low budget and turn it into wonders by playing with light and neon lights.

Being an usher I had the privilege to watch the play thrice!

So the No 1. thing that I would take out from this experience would be how the performances and the entire show changed from night to night. In the first night where staff and workers compiled the audience the cast was nervous and appeared inexperienced in a way that they were exaggerating certain parts and pulling them off hilariously well but in other parts, the insecurity blended in and there were awkward moments.

It was not only for performers and cast members but also the light crew which had difficulties identifying the moments which required lighting and which person to light each time.

The next night everything run surprisingly smoothly. The performers got over their first-time anxiety and performed marvellously on the Greek style stage. They had the confidence and the skills to ensure that the microphones were on all the time and their performance was on point. The performance was impressive, to the extent that an audience member who had attended the Broadway production shared the surprising resemblance of the two.

The third night, I would say came out better than the first one but a little less energetic than the second one. Small mistakes due to coordination were replaced with mechanical synchronisation of all. The crew was though less energetic not putting 100% effort.

This is really interesting to observe because unless you’re an audience member for 3 consecutive nights you cannot point out.

It is definitely a lesson I will have in my head for future chances I get to make more than one-time performances.

But not to come off as rude or unappreciative, the overall musical was mouth-dropping with new elements of homosexuality that gave the play a newer feel.

These and more theatre chances have encouraged me to get back into the creative world of theatre with a new area and determination to perform and communicate meaning but also to dig deeper and unravel the magic of artists’ work.

Reading + Notetaking

Again, this is part of the self-guided assignment.

Nancy Pellegrini’s article lists 7 of the most significant Chinese Drama’s in history.

Image result for Thunderstorm by Lei Yu in 1933Thunderstorm by Lei Yu in 1933

Tragedy.
Respected family’s father has two children with his maid not knowing that one, the daughter, is now his servant while getting involved with her half-sibling. The ending is as tragic as the plot with madness and suicide ensue.
Critics point out the resemblance of the play to Ibsen’s Ghosts.

Image result for Sunrise Ri ChuSunrise by Ri Chu in 1936

Again, in the tragic spirit of Lei Yu, Ri Chu’s Sunrise captures “loose” characters being seduced by hedonism and easy money. It all ends when the main character, ex-prostitute/party girl, ends her life instead of redeeming herself.
It is more realistic than Thunderstorm.

 

Image result for cultural revolution posters
In a Land of Silence/Silence by Yu Wusheng Qu in 1978

High-level cadre embraces capitalism before being prosecuted. The family’s attempts to hide him fail and pay dearly for its benevolence.
One of the first plays to deal openly with the Cultural Revolution.

 

Image result for waiting for godot posterBus Stop/Station by Che Zhan in 1981

With hopes and dreams to get to the big city, eight characters are being passed by buses. Silent Man makes his way walking, but the others spend 10 years blaming society before they follow him to the town.
Waiting for Godot with Chinese characteristics, theatre of the absurd rejecting traditional conventions.

 

Image result for Absolute Signal Juedui Xinhao
Absolute Signal by Juedui Xinhao in 1982

The protagonist taking part in a train robbery is conflicted when meeting former classmate, girlfriend and elderly master. The crime never comes off.
Black Box, Flashbacks, Popularity and Experimentation.

 

Image result for chicago poster
Wife Back from America by Meiguo Hui Laide Qizi in 1993

Urgency to go abroad is confronted. Returning wife realises the grown-apart with her husband.
Captures Societal Change in China. Consequence of political pressure.

Image result for rhinoceros in love poster
Rhinoceros in Love by Lian Aide Xi Niu in 1999

A shy zookeeper appears obsessed with attractive woman. After she rebounds his clumsy advances, he kidnaps her to prove her wrong. The story that follows consists of symbolism, satire and darkness.
Music effects, radical plays in small venues can indeed attract investors.

Theatre Company Research; Gecko

 

The company I will be researching on is named: GECKO.

ABOUT GECKO

Gecko is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed physical theatre company, led by Artistic Director Amit Lahav.

A Gecko show is visual, visceral, ambitious theatre crafted to inspire, move and entertain. Gecko strives to make their work wide open to interpretation and put their audience at the heart of the narrative.

Amit has created an organic devising process that oscillates between intense periods of experimentation, making brave leaps, learning and failing and including choreography, writing, storyboarding and reflection. Every stage includes sonic and technical development alongside the choreography.

With an expanding ensemble of international performers and makers, Gecko works across diverse age groups, nationalities and forms. The company tours nationally and internationally and continues to develop strong partnerships around the world.

Beyond the stage, Gecko aspires to open the doors on their process via every possible avenue, be it digital, in schools or through one-to-one relationships with their audience.

COMPANY FOCUS

Gecko is an artist-led organisation and the creation of artistic product drives all conversations from education to marketing. The creation process is incredibly rigorous and productive to ensure the high quality demanded by Gecko. It is a proven process which has created 7 celebrated shows over a decade in this way.

The creative process happens over two years and includes the ‘creation tour’ where a show continues to develop whilst on tour. The longevity of a show’s life, up to five years, means that the current show in development carries enormous significance in all aspects of the company’s work.

QUALITY

We are completely committed to our pursuit of making excellent work. Every aspect of the process provides us with the tools to make shows of the highest quality: time, rigour, world-class performers and creative teams, world-class venues and management support. Our shows are incredibly detailed and crafted, highly skillful and universal, creating both a childlike wonder and an artisan appreciation in our audiences.

We have a responsibility to our audiences, especially our young audiences, to produce the most exciting, powerful, challenging work possible – A responsibility we take very seriously. Our status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation inspires us in the business of Gecko even more.

http://geckotheatre.com/about/

 

Reflection:

I fell instantly in love. Thos theatre company may not have the most luxurious and elegant equipment but their passion and energy are undoubtedly admirable. I was impressed when they made use of regular objects to create an unforgettable visual experience. Their focus on visual presentation and physical exploration seem to definitely characterise their vision. I felt inspired by their ability to make use of limited resources and create a holistic theatrical experience. Sometimes the simplest of things are the greatest and definitely, that is for this company. A fundamental reoccurring pattern amongst their work is the theme they choose to explore. Whether it is unconventional or traditional through their interpretation they create this identification with the audience. As if they are watching their own lives in front of them. Lastly, I would like to touch on their attention to detail and how this contributes to the creation of an overwhelming experience for the audience.

When you want to say WEIRD word bank:

Words used to describe avant-garde or non-traditional art;

operatic
deifying
complex
dynamic
authentic
original
unusual
abstract
indistinct
triggering
unique
alternative
creative
temperamental
surreal
avant-garde
contemporary
different
unexpected
unconventional
irregular
informal
exceptional

2.  When you don’t want to say “normal”, say;

ordinary
distinct
common
usual
expected
established
habitual
conventional
regular
traditional
standard
orthodox
prevailing
accustomed
conservative
conformist
bourgeois
formal
unexceptional

Set Design Challenge; Rhinoceros Transformation

Jean’s transformation in Act Two seems to be one of the most challenging tasks for directors that aim to unravel this play’s character and personality. The technical difficulty for a human to turn into a rhinoceros is intensified even more by the lack of transitioning time that is given in this scene. Therefore, in order to solve the issue in a small amount of time, the transformation of Jean into a rhinoceros should be supported by appropriate technological equipment. The equipment that will accurately assist this change and offer the audience a spectacular feel when the transformation is revealed is a transparent glass screen. This screen is a newly developed technological apparatus that is aimed to offer a holographic experience since it can project characteristics of a rhinoceros on top of Jean’s body. The characteristics are. The screen’s measurements, as well as the stage’s, are 5 (length)x 3 (height) meters.

  • Green, leather-like skin
  • Lump on forehead
  • Horn.

Not interfering with the script writers intentions this approach will represent this symbolic transformation better than any other alternative.

Below can be found pictures illustrating the setting of the stage with the new additions. The original staging as presented in the script remains untouched.

Image 1: Visual Representation of Stage with Notes on Function of the Transparent Hologram System

Adding to the comedic interpretation, vibrant colours will contrast with the monotonous colours of Jean’s modest house. Through this, the contrast and the unexpectedness will be escalated revealing the intention and purpose of the expansion of “rhinoseritis”.

By following this approach the connotations regarding the play could be expanded and include the overwhelming and addictive nature of technology that is recruiting more and more as time progresses, also without excluding the intended connotations of the script writer.

Lastly, the feasibility of the approach is confirmed by the price of the equipment and the installation. After communication with Glimm Display, a company based in the Netherlands that produces the latest Screen Equipment the price is set at TO BE DETERMINED. According to them the most suitable specific product would be TO BE DETERMINED.

The screen’s requested measurements, as well as the stage’s, are 5 (length)x 3 (height) meters.

Transparent OLED display

Image 2: “2D 3D Hologram Displays.” Glimm Display. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

Butoh Fu

butoh (舞踏) (butoh is a style of Japanese modern dance featuring dancers covered in white body paint.)

fu (舞踏譜) (fu means“notation” in Japanese)

After Second World War Japan experienced change at a rate unlike that ever seen before in world history. It embraced massive industrialisation and Westernisation.
Japanese Loss of Identity

At its heart, Butoh aims to reveal the unconscious inner world of the performer, stripped of his or her social mask, striving to reach its audience at gut level.
Connection to the audience’s feelings

The traditional image of a Butoh performer is of a white painted figure wearing a g-string, with a contorted and grotesque face and body, head shaved and eyes rolled up. Uncontrollable convulsions are juxtaposed with incredible isolation in all parts of the body and sublime stillness.
The performer’s description

Obfuscation describes the movement.

DESCRIPTION

  • provocative
  • shocking
  • spectacle
  • erotic
  • grotesque: comically or repulsively ugly or distorted.
  • violent
  • primal: relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; primaeval.
  • visceral: relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.
  • physical
  • spiritual
  • meditative
  • cosmic: relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth.
  • nihilistic: rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless.
  • cathartic: providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.
  • mysterious
  • animalistic

 

Context influences the art form.

Citation

Mark Hill’s